As American Christians, we must be diligent to remember three truths as we live on Jesus’ mission in a cultural turbulent society:
- Our primary citizenship is in Heaven, not America. Our eyes, like our fathers and mothers of our faith should be fixed towards the City of God.
- The primary document that shapes what we believe and how we live is God’s Word, the Bible, and not the Constitution. Our minds, like our fathers and mothers of the faith, should be renewed through the reading and studying of Scripture.
- The ruler and Commander-in-Chief that we bow to first is Jesus, not our president. Our hearts should chase after Him who guides our steps in righteousness.
Unless we see our workmates, friends, school-gate connections, and acquaintances through the lens of the gospel, then we simply won’t speak about Jesus. We won’t be willing to spend our social capital. We won’t be willing to take a risk with the connection we have made in the community. We must be captured by the glory of God, must grapple with the reality of the new creation and yearn for it, must be confronted by the reality of hell and judgement, and must see ourselves and the world through the lens of grace.
Pastors often ask me how to balance these two priorities: do we spend our time pastoring the people we have, or reaching out to people we don’t have?
The biblical answer is discipleship. We need to disciple the people we have to reach out with Christ’s love to the people we don’t have. When we do that, no one gets left out.
Let’s just make sure to follow that line of thinking all the way into the station. If this verse prohibits alcohol, tobacco, or piercings, then how much more does it also prohibit caffeine, chocolate cake, bacon grease, late nights, failure to bathe, steel factory employment, vasectomies, and drivers’ licenses? Each of these things either 1) introduces harmful substances to the body, 2) puts the body at significant risk of harm, or 3) makes permanent bodily changes for reasons other than preserving health.
The truth matters. When we share lies and misinformation, especially when we do so to discredit and public figure, we defame someone made in the image of God and bring shame on the name of Christ. Because Christians live as ambassadors for Christ in this world, we can and must exercise more caution and discernment concerning what we share on the Internet.
We will never be fully in the know. We will never say everything. We will never satisfy our deepest longings. Fasting reminds us of all these truths. You may not start with an extended, long-term fast. But start somewhere—for the sake of your soul.
Don’t be afraid of the emptiness, for it is there that you will find the Way to be filled.
The problem with notifications goes beyond interruptions, or the fact that they deliver randomized dopamine hits like a super-addictive slot machine. Notifications help apps skew your worldview. They make you think that your phone is important and essential.
How often do you truly need an interruption to your day, a thing that sets your pants buzzing and makes you drop what you’re doing, be it work or play, and rush to take a different action? Maybe once or twice a day, right? So why are notifications bugging you all the time?
The result of that vow came to fruition Saturday at Syriana, where he presented the city with a check for $10,000, which he had raised from Syrian Americans from all over the country who had seen the destruction and wanted to show their gratitude not just to Ellicott, but also to the United States for accepting them.
My prime time happens to be in the morning, but yours might be at noon or 7 pm. And maybe you renew your energy with a coffee date or an afternoon yoga class.
Do whatever you can to seize that prime time and make the most of it.
Each Saturday since the summer, the “Old Coots” have taken on the issues of about 30 to 40 people who come by seeking their advice. It’s a way for a person to get an outside opinion from somebody who has nothing to gain, he said.
“It started as a joke, but it’s become a phenomenon,” Caputo said. “Somebody told us the other day that we’re the most popular attraction at the market. We always listen carefully and don’t give gratuitous advice.”